Canadian Sand in LA Highrises

Canadian Sand in LA Highrises

Article Title: Why Builders of Big L.A. Projects Are Making Concrete with Gravel and Sand Shipped from Canada

Author of Article: J. R. Koren

Date of article: November 4, 2017

Source URL: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-canadian-gravel-20171104-htmlstory.html

For construction projects in the Los Angeles area, it is now cheaper to import the gravel and sand – known as aggregate – from Canada than to ship it from local quarries.

The aggregate travels one mile on conveyor belts from a quarry in Vancouver Island to a floating terminal on the coast. Ships then carry the materials 1,450 miles away to the Port of Long Beach. The materials are transported to a terminal on a conveyor belt. From there, they will be loaded into trucks to reach the construction sites.

The transportation cost is $16 compared to the $22.75 it would cost to truck a ton of materials from a local quarry to downtown L.A. These lower transportation costs, better quality of materials, and local residents’ reluctance to have quarry-related work and traffic nearby have contributed to increasing imports despite an abundant domestic supply.

Discussion Questions
1. Why is it cheaper to import the aggregate from Canada?

Guidance: Discuss the lower Continue reading

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Houston, We Have a Cargo Problem

Houston, We Have a Cargo Problem

October 9, 2017

Article Title: Harvey Blocks ‘Critical’ Point of Entry for Cargo

Authors of Article: Brian Baskin and Erica C. Phillips

Date of article: August 31, 2017

Source URL: https://www.wsj.com/articles/harvey-cripples-key-point-of-entry-for-cargo-1504126803 (link does not require a WSJ subscription)

This article illustrates the importance of disruption mitigations in supply chain management and just-in-time systems.

With the closure of Port Houston after Hurricane Harvey, large container ships and oil tankers are re-routed to as far as the Bahamas and Mexico.  Businesses that rely on these shipments are facing shortages of parts and goods.  The disruption’s ripple effects are impacting businesses that use Houston as their distribution center and companies that provide trucking services.

Discussion Questions
1. What are the impacts of shipping disruptions on supply chain management?

Guidance: The article provides examples of businesses and types of businesses that have been impacted. Can incorporate a discussion of JIT systems, and the risk this adds to the supply chain.

2. What actions can companies take to mitigate disruptions in their supply chain networks?

Guidance: Examples are given in the article, and can be used to start class discussion. Can discuss multiple sourcing strategies, and how logistics can mitigate or Continue reading

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